The Mt. Adams Endurance Race has been selected to host the 2003 Pan American Endurance Championship.
This year's race on Saturday, June 1, will serve as the Pan American pre-ride, which offers an opportunity for next year's Pan American competitors to preview the trails.
The 2003 Pan American Championship will be held in Trout Lake on Sept. 13, 2003, pending final Federal Equestrian International approval.
This year, the sixth annual Mt. Adams Endurance Ride expects to draw 160 horse-and-rider teams to compete at distances of 12, 25, 50, 75, and 100 miles. The ride is sanctioned by the American Endurance Ride Conference.
The 100-mile distance riders may elect to gain international experience by participating under FEI rules, qualifying riders to compete at the international level.
Ride managers rely on the technical assistance of Michael Foss, DVM, who is the chair of the AERC International Committee and the equine vet at Alpine Veterinary Services in Hood River. Foss is well known on the international endurance circuit through his involvement in world competitions, from Australia to Dubai, UAE.
Ride headquarters will be located five miles north of Trout Lake at the Buck Creek Seed Orchard.
Spectators can follow signs and ribbons from town.
The course will combine hilly terrain, excellent trails and old Forest Service roads, operating with three vet checks to insure that the fit-to-continue criteria are met.
Competitors, horses, trailers, and pit crews generally arrive Friday to establish camp and pass through the mandatory pre-ride vet check.
The pre-ride meeting Friday evening defines details of the race and the designated criteria. The first group to leave camp will be the 100-milers at dawn. The 12-milers, at 9:30 a.m., will be the last group to depart.
This is a wonderful chance to view a world-class endurance competition close to home. Visitors are encouraged to ride to the base camp and see the race in progress.
Novice riders may want to consider signing up for either the 12- or 25-mile distances to get a true taste of what endurance riding is all about.